As new life springs up in nature there’s also signs of new life in business as lockdown measures are gradually reduced, allowing doors to open and businesses to plan to trade again.

Currently pubs and restaurants are allowed to continue with takeaway food, but the 12th April (at the earliest) sees restaurants and pubs able to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors. This is a great opportunity to start getting things back to ‘normal’ again, but will still carry with it the responsibility of managing social distancing and infection control. Everyone is so excited about being able to go out and socialise over a meal and drinks again, but nobody wants it to lead to more lockdown measures, so how can we manage this?

Effective signposting can really help, informing customers of the process, where to stop and wait, when to use sanitiser, how to order and pay, even to physically direct them by using a pavement sign to block a pathway. They can also display your menu to people queuing, enabling them to decide what they would like before they reach the table, reducing the amount of time that they are seated and not spending. Once sat at the table, if they haven’t already decided what they would like to order, laminated menus are a great option which can be easily wiped clean – they can also prove useful for any Spring showers leaving surfaces wet.

Once we reach the 17th May (or later) and customers can also be seated inside, you can easily change your displayed messaging to suit your new requirements and continue to use wipeable menus to mitigate the risk of virus spreading.

Let’s hope the British weather knows how excited we are to go alfresco!